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Colorado voters are making too much law and the wrong kind of law at the ballot box, according to a growing list of elected officials, analysts and experts. Critics of the state's famously loose ballot-initiative process agree it unnecessarily opens up the state constitution to improperly vetted amendments, which are extremely difficult to rework or repeal. The result: Bad laws that bog down government and generate extended and expensive lawsuits.
Legislation introduced by Colorado House Speaker Terrance Carroll that would reform the state's notoriously loose ballot initiative petition process passed the State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Tuesday with an unanimous vote, underlining the bipartisan support the bill has gained in the week since it was introduced, partly due to the collaborative approach the speaker, a Denver Democrat, used in drafting the language.
House Speaker Terrance Carroll, D-Denver, introduced legislation on Tuesday designed to address abuses that plagued the ballot initiative process in Colorado last election season. Co-sponsored in the House by Lois Court, D-Denver, and in the Senate by Majority Leader Brandon Shaffer, D-Longmont, the bill aims narrowly to address the petitioning process, where signatures in support of initiatives are gathered, and particularly "concerns raised regarding the use of paid petition circulators," according to a House Democratic Party press release.